What Jesus Did! 'Permanent?' — Matthew 5:18

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"I tell you the truth. Nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth are gone. The law will not lose even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter until all has happened."
— Matthew 5:18
Illustration of Matthew 5:18 — "I tell you the truth. Nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth are gone. The law will not lose even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter until all has happened."

Key Thought

The intent of Jesus' teaching is to shift the focus away from a strict, appearance of adherence of the Law, and rivet our attention on the heart of the Lawgiver. The validity of the Law's truth is enduring down to the last detail. But that truth is found in Jesus, one who lived in perfect obedience and righteousness before God. As the verses that follow indicate, Jesus does not lessen the intent of the Law, but gives it flesh and blood, compassion and mercy, power and depth. His words will never pass away! Grace is not about diminished expectations, but about power, motivation, and salvation. But salvation is more than salvation from past sin or even salvation to heaven at the end of time. Salvation is about being protected from the ravages of sin's punishments and consequences because Jesus' mercy and grace have motivated and empowered us to obey God's will and so fulfill the intent behind every letter of the Law.

Today's Prayer

Almighty and glorious God, who lives in inapproachable light, I praise you for your glory and grace. I pledge to you, dear Father, that I will not take that grace for granted or trample on its gift. At the same time, I ask you to empower and lead me with your Holy Spirit to do your will and honor your grace with a life that is holy, and wholly, yours. Through the name of the Lord I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"Don't think that I have come to destroy the law {of Moses} or the {teaching of the} prophets. I have not come to destroy their teachings. I came to give full meaning to their teachings. I tell you the truth. Nothing will disappear from the law until heaven and earth are gone. The law will not lose even the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter until all has happened. A person should obey every command, even a command that does not seem important. If a person refuses to obey any command and teaches other people not to obey that command, then that person will be the least important in the kingdom of heaven. But the person that obeys the law and teaches other people to obey the law will be great in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you that you must do better than the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. If you are not better people, then you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:17-20

Lord, your words are like a lamp lighting my path.

Psalm 119:105

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.